Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
BEERBOWER, JAMES M. (deceased) - The name of James M. Beerbower was associated with some of the most artistic monumental work ever furnished the people of Sangamon County, and he is remembered as a man of high business principles and patriotic citizenship. He was born near Marion, Ohio, March 2, 1848. The father was an upholsterer by trade, who moved to Indianapolis, where he died. Five children were born to him and his wife, Matilda M. Beerbower: Samuel, who died in Missouri; Steven, who died in Indianapolis; James M.; Edward, of Indiana, and John, of New York City.
James M. Beerbower was brought up in poverty but was given a common school education. He learned the stone-cutting trade and worked at it for forty years. He traveled for the White Monument Company, of Indianapolis, for a quarter of a century, when he located in Springfield. Later he was with Rector and Dolan, but eventually began business for himself, building up a large trade through the excellence of his work and his thorough understanding of its requirements. His business was located at No. 214 South Seventh Street, and he made a specialty of fine cemetery work of artistic design.
On January 7, 1888, Mr. Beerbower was married in Springfield to Carrie De Frates, of that city, daughter of Antonio and Mary De Frates. One child, Zoe, was born of this union. While not a member of any religious organization, Mr. Beerbower conducted his life according to the Golden Rule. His wife belongs to the Second Presbyterian Church. In political faith he was a Republican. His widow now resides on South Seventh Street, in the home her husband's devotion provided for her. He was a man who made friends easily, and retained them through life. Always conscientious in his work, he combined his business integrity with rare artistic perceptions, and his skill was eagerly sought by those who wished to demonstrate publicly their love for those departed. He died February 13, 1911.